Saturday, August 19, 2017

She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain

She'll be coming round the mountain
When she comes
(Toot, toot!)

She'll be coming round the mountain
When she comes
(Toot, toot!)

I just got back from my third mountain vacation this summer.  Where are my six white horses!?!

I'm not going to lie, this was a vacation I was not looking forward to for a variety of reasons:
1. It fell right before my first teacher workday and in the middle of a transition.  2.  I knew it was going to be a fishing/ camping trip.  3.  I had no idea where we were staying.  4.   I am now getting TWO kids ready for school instead of ONE.

A few days before we left I asked Darren to send me a link to where we were sleeping and he sent me this......

Okkkkkkk.... my thoughts are 'this looks like it really sucks but that is nothing compared to how Princess #2 is going to act if we sleep here'.

Hey, I know there are a lot of girls that love camping, fishing, and racing. 
And, if my daughter loved it I would totally encourage it (like I do with my son) but we are who we are and I say there is no shame in coming out as a Princess.

Thankfully God gave me some kind of energy the day before we left.   I was able to finish packing what I could take from my K-2 room, set up a little more at my 6-8 room, come home to clean, and finish packing with two kids. 
I only forgot two major things- my night glasses and shampoo.  

The first day we arrived in Bristol, Tennesse for racing events at
I voted that I would keep you know who at the hotel:

She was already complaining before we crossed state lines.  Darren and Meme were a little worried we would be bored but we had Barbies and lip gloss- total Princess survival pack. 

The hotel staff at our stay was super friendly and directed Carlee and me to a little path in the back that leads right into Main Street.  (Also, the hotel had an indoor pool-  double score!)

Off we went on a little mother/daughter adventure....

At the end of our trail, we ran into an old-school house.  This just verifies my destiny to become 'SchoolMarm of the Mountains'.

Sadly, it was locked up and we couldn't see inside.  :(

Downtown was very charming and I really enjoyed the walk with Carlee.  


We had an early dinner at an old-fashioned Soda Pop Ice Cream Shop.

you can see us checking out cake in the mirror

We ended the evening with me giving into the constant begging to "go to the pool" and saved the cake for later.  
Connor said everyone had a good time at the race but I think we had the most fun.  


The next day, we headed for Blowing Rock.  Darren shared we wouldn't be camping but staying at a "nice" Quonset Hut (I mean, what the heck!? I had to Google it).  He was so serious about it that I believed him.  Darren doesn't have a great track record for picking the best places to stay (cheap. cheap. cheap.).  

This week I give him full credit for picking an AWESOME place in a village. 

The kids still managed, in an unknown place, to start building a fort.  Do you see Carlee in this picture?  She made a small nook by the fireplace.

Not only was the lodging spacious it had the coolest bathtub ever.  

I waited until the family went to the lake one evening and started my private "spa".  I sunk into the relaxing warm water and started to open all the little complimentary bottles of soaps.  It was so luxurious.   
Suddenly, the very calm jets turned on me and started full power.  I was getting hit in the face, arms, sides, legs with some MAJOR water power.  The jet switch was inconveniently on the other side of the room.   In my quest to get up, I started slip-sliding everywhere, trying to see through the streams of leaping water.  Then the water turned scalding HOT.   Here I was sunk in a massive lava hole with three different types of "sea soaps" completely trapped!!!   By the time I made it out alive to cut the jets off, the bathroom looked like Sharknado tore through it.  There was water dripping from the ceiling, my pajamas were wet, my phone on the other side of the room was wet.... it was crazy.  
Thank goodness, no one really questioned why ten towels went missing.

Our apartment was a nice, short walk to the pool/ tennis/ basketball/ gym/ lake area.  We were told to be careful of Black Bears with instructions to NOT carry food.
I was always a bit nervous walking because I feel like I smell of bacon at all times.  On the plus side, bears don't like loud noises.  I had one thing in my favor.

Book Room  💗

I was so proud of Carlee.  The water was over her head (my kids have never wanted to wear arm floaties) but after working with me, and switching off with Darren, she started swimming from ladder to ladder!  
Who needs to pay for swim lessons?  

While the boys fished, we tried a game of Tetherball. Good Heavens, both of us were terrible.  We finally just daintily wrapped the ball around the pole while singing Frozen songs.  

Just give us the nail polish and be done with it.

my fellow loves to fish

Although I want to one day retire to the beach,  the mountain views were absolutely breathtaking.
The scenery was a spiritual experience. 

no photo editing needed

We originally planned to take in some theme parks in the area but the kids were so entertained by the village, that we really didn't want to go anywhere else.  
We decided it would be really nostalgic and educational for the children to visit another NC State Park- Grandfather Mountain.  Meme, Darren, and I all have memories of visiting. 

I was terribly upset to realize it was $80.00 for a family of five to visit. I know it takes a lot of money and resources to keep up these beautiful parks, but it is very sad to know that it bumps out a lot of families from visiting.   I would have never been able to visit as a little girl at that price. 

Seriously, there is a huge drop behind this wall.

Out of the whole family, Carlee seems to be the only one who is not one bit worried about heights.  She began to scale the wall at this overlook when her dad firmly said 'Carlee NO' (he didn't even yell).   She isn't used to daddy using that voice, so she was quite devastated with many, many tears for the ride up the mountain.  #drama

Darren said when he was little you could feed the bears marshmallows.  He claims to have the photo evidence.  I still don't know if he is pulling my leg?  

 stop for oreo and chocolate fudge 
One of my memories at Grandfather Mtn. was buying a rock collection in a very small, plastic case.  I wanted to buy each of the children a little bag and they were able to fill them up with their own polished stones.  

I encouraged everyone to tackle The Bridge.  
Meme and Darren were like... NO WAY JOSE.  

Carlee 'Evil Knievel' Sechrist
had a little fun jiggling the bridge.  

My little ones are no longer little.  They are growing and I love each new phase. 

For lunch, we stopped at the Dan'l Boone Inn.
This is an experience.  Once seated, you do not order. They bring out an entire southern, home-cooked spread (complete with dessert).  This literally tasted like my grandma/mama made it.
It was an ENORMOUS amount of food but it was Sooooooo Goooooooood.

The Dan'l Boone Inn was formally Boone's first hospital.    I just love historical information/artifacts about local areas.


Right now, there are a lot of bad things going on in the world today.  I know that nothing is certain. 
......for this week, we were all given exactly what we needed- fresh air, play, laughter, fun, and family. 
I so enjoyed the NOW. 

Oh, we'll all go out to meet her
When she comes
(Hi babe!)

Oh, we'll all go out to meet her,
We'll all go out to meet her,
We'll all go out to meet her
When she comes
(Hi babe!
Whoa back! Toot, toot!)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Rumble Tumble

This summer Carlee did a Tumbling camp.  It helped a bit with her shyness (even though she refused to go in the room the last session because we were 3 minutes late).  She really enjoys dance and tumbling.  I think we may wait an additional year before making this a permanent part of her routine.  

Here are a few moments that I was able to sneak of her class: